Newt, a social conservative, I don’t think so

By Mari Pothier |

Opinion G logoFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to be playing that typical political game of do as I say not as I do.

Despite the fact that he has been married three times, Gingrich is pursuing a possible run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination as a social conservative. But wait a minute. Aren’t social conservatives supposed to represent fundamental Christian values, one being the sanctity of marriage?

But good old Gingrich still thinks he is the man for the job.

In an interview on the Christian Broadcast Network, Gingrich told journalist David Brody that he believes in a forgiving God.

I have to say, as a Christian, I agree. I believe that Gingrich, if truly sorry for the sins he committed, should be forgiven, but as a conservative I feel it would be hypocritical of him to run as a social conservative. He is a 67-year-old man who for the majority of his life did not follow some of the core values associated with being a social conservative. He’s saying, “Do as I say not as I do.”

I think Gingrich will have a hard time convincing social conservatives, who include evangelicals and others who follow a Christian lifestyle, that he is presidential material.

Frank James, a reporter at National Public Radio, wrote on March 9 that, “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich can’t avoid the reality that his personal past is a problem in Republican primaries and caucuses where social conservative activists, including born-again Christians, will play a large role in choosing who eventually becomes the Republican nominee.”

It’s sad to say but people are not as forgiving as God. People hold grudges and people judge. Trust me, I know because I have done both numerous times in my life. Other Republicans and Democrats running in the 2012 presidential election will use his not-so-great martial record as ammunition against him. That’s the beauty of politics.

Gingrich told Brody during his interview that “There’s no question that at times in my life partially driven by how passionately I’ve felt about this country that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

Well, that’s a peculiar excuse for a man who wants to run for president, the hardest and most patriotic job a person can have. How am I supposed to trust a man with an excuse like that? A man who says his patriotism and hard work caused him to cheat on his previous two wives.

So Gingrich by all means run in the Republican primary, but just don’t do it as a social conservative.

I don’t believe you.

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